MANSFIELD, LA. – A privately-funded high voltage transmission line that will stretch about 200 miles across eight parishes in north Louisiana represents a $1 billion investment in the state – with about $700 million of that being spent in DeSoto Parish.
Emory Belton, a Baton Rouge attorney representing Pattern Energy, said the project, called Southern Spirit Transmission, was started about 10 years ago to connect Texas and Southeastern power grids. It hit some regulatory hurdles in Texas. With those legal issues resolved, the project is “back on full steam ahead.”
Belton called this a “unique project,” in that no utility companies are involved. None have ownership interests; therefore, ratepayers will not be impacted.
During the two-year construction period, Belton said over 2,000 jobs will be created. The transmission line is expected to support over 250 permanent jobs in the state, and about a dozen at the converter station in DeSoto.
The company estimates $151 million in total earnings impact during construction.
As far as economic impact, DeSoto Parish will see the greatest with construction impacts estimated at $113.5 million and $27.2 million in operations.
Property taxes will get the greatest bump. DeSoto Parish can expect to receive approximately $212.3 million over 40 years, with an annual average of $5.3 million.